Writing Every Day in August: Day 22

Captain Goblinbeard returns. And this time, he’s bringing his much put-upon paymaster.

“Billie Bones” is not a Star Trek reference, though I did briefly consider making her the ship’s doctor.

She’s a Treasure Island reference. Billy Bones is the character whose map basically sets off the entire plot. And the version in Muppet Treasure Island is, to my knowledge, the only character ever to die on-screen in a Muppets movie…

“Billie” — as in, for example, Eilish (whose middle name is, incidentally, apaprently “Pirate”; I did not know that until about 30 seconds ago) — is an actual female name, or at least female nickname.

“Um, Captain,” Billie Bones asks, glancing down at her captain. “Since when do you smoke a pipe?”

Captain Goblinbeard removes the pipe from between his teeth and holds it up.

“Yarr, Miss Bones,” the Captain answers. “I don’t yet be smokin’ a pipe. I’ve just been discernin’ that carryin’ this very pipe might well add a touch of distinguishment to me appearance, makin’ me seem what rather more dignified and serious, as what befits a pirate Captain o’ me reputation.”

“I see,” Billie mutters.

“And how be the preparations for our latest excarrrrsion, Miss Bones?” Captain Goblinbeard asks, taking his pipe back between his lips and chewing thoughtfully on the stem.

As both Captain Goblinbeard’s paymaster and quartermaster, outfitting the crew, managing the crew roster, and then paying everybody is Billie’s job. Said crew being what it is, the responsibility in general is solely Billie’s.

She’s starting to think she needs to hire herself an assistant — she hires all the other members of the crew anyway. Or else she needs to start revising her resume.

“Well,” Billie says, glancing down at her ledger. “Furious Gregor will not be able to join us,” she says. “He’s in anger management classes this week.”

“Yarr,” Captain Goblinbeard replies. “Good on him for improvin’ his self, though I fine meself ponderin’ what we’ll be callin’ him once he’s no longer Furious.” He glances back at Billie. “Go on, Miss Bones.”

“Black Jack Takeda had to drop out at the last minute,” Billie continues. “His wife is having a baby.”

Captain Goblinbeard nods thoughtfully. “Be takin’ a note, Miss Bones. Mr. Takeda is to be receivin’ his full share o’ the booties and the plunderin’. I’ll not be penalising a member o’ me for prioritisin’ the birth o’ his very own child,” he declares. “And, also, Miss Bones, do kindly be sendin’ Mrs. Takeda a celebratory fruit basket and me heartfelt congratulations.”

“Yes, Captain,” Billie says.

“Is that bein’ all, Miss Bones?” Captain Goblin asks.

“Your daughter sent a message Captain,” Billie continues. “Would you like the whole thing, or just the summary.”

“Yarr, the summary will be sufficient for now, Miss Bones,” Captain Goblin says.

Billie clears her throat and glances down at her summary of the letter from Captain Goblinbeard’s daughter. “She hates you and she’s never talking to you again,” she says.

Captain Goblinbeard looks up at her. “And that’s bein’ the whole thing?” he asks.

“Well, she used quite a bit more colourful language, but that’s the gist of it, Captain,” Billie says.

Captain Goblinbeard frowns around his pipe. “Yarr, she’s being at that rebellious teenage phase,” he explains. “Me daughter’ll be having none o’ me pirate’s life. I’ll be sittin’ her down and talkin’ to her when we’ve returned to port. But I’m thinkin’ it’s time to cast off, Miss Bones.”

“Yes, Captain,” Billie says, closing her ledger

“All aboard!” Captain Goblinbeard calls to his crew as they stand on the dock.

As he steps onto the gangplank, Captain Goblinbeard’s attention is momentarily occupied by a passer-by. The Captain waves and tips his hat.

“Ahoy, Dude Manguy!”

Once again, Dude Manguy outta nowhere!

Pro Wrestler Randy Orton delivering an RKO, captioned "not unlike a certain Randal Keith Orton" in reference to sneaking up on people.

But, seriously, I am so glad I had the idea for Dude Manguy on the first of the month so I can keep having him pop up in weird places. I am legit loving the idea of a largely inconsequential background character that randomly seems to know everyone.

I’ve mentioned that I want to use the Captain Goblinbeard character going forward, but Billie is mostly just here to give him someone to talk to. As is the case with Jimena and Dunstana, I like the “Silly Captain, Serious Underling” dynamic, but at this point, Billie pretty much feels like she is Jimena — which is fine for an exercise where getting the 500 words in is the important part, but will need to be addressed if she’s going end up in a real story.

Also, I think I need to get a better grasp of Pirate dialogue beyond “Pirates go Yarrr“…

And with that, Week Four of writing every day in August is on. For the purposes of clarification, since August has 31 days, which is not divisable by 4, “Week 4” will also include the last three days of the month when I’m recapping.

It’s not too late to following along with my August writing exercises, or anything else Realmgard-related:

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